So you just met this guy. He’s smart and charming, and he’s asked you out for that first date. After spending hours rummaging your closet for that perfect first date outfit to look your best, you’re ready to meet him for drinks downtown. But when you get there, he’s rude, trash-talking his ex-girlfriend, not to mention he can’t stop checking out the other girls at the bar. That’s when it hits you: the guy you’re out on a date with is a total creep and it’s time you left him at the bar where you found him.
I’m talking about red flags: those tell-tale signs that your date is taking a turn for the worse and that your “dream guy” is really a smooth-talking (or not smooth-talking) jerk. Sometimes, we girls like to turn a blind eye to the warning signs, especially if he’s pretty cute or charming or whatever. But if he’s waving one or more of these in the air, trust me when I say, he won’t be worth your Friday night. We’re presenting HC’s Ultimate Guide to Red Flags including the biggest red flags that every collegiette should steer clear of – or you’ll be sorry later.
Red Flag: He’s already hiding stuff from you.
It’s hard to imagine that on a first date a guy could already be hiding things from you, but if it ever comes up that he’s intentionally hiding things from you or even lying about people he’s already dated, Julie Spira, dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com says that can be a bad sign. “When a woman is dating a guy and he keeps getting text messages from other women, it's a huge red flag,” Spira says. “Sure, he might say she's just a pal from the classroom or an old friend from high school, if so let her send an email instead of interrupting your date.”
“I've had a couple of friends who were hooking up with guys who blocked them on Facebook,” says Cari, a sophomore from Boston University. “Even after that, they still continued things with these guys. I couldn't believe it! It sounds so silly (because Facebook isn't real life), but you should never be with a guy who'd consciously hide something from you. Sketchy!”
Red Flag: Your “dates” consist solely of boozy late-night texts.
Do I even have to say this? I hate to break it to you, but you’re not his girlfriend. You’re a booty call at best. You’ll notice on that first date when he buys you a round of shots and he sticks to his one beer. At this point, he’s most likely looking for more than dinner and conversation. If you end up “back at his place” almost every date night, don't expect a commitment anytime soon.
“Often a guy you're dating is playing the field, which is fine,” Spira says. “However if you're jumping into bed with him on a Friday night and he doesn't reappear until Monday morning, you should wonder what he was up to on Saturday night and Sunday. Unless you're looking for a friends-with-benefits relationship, avoid thinking he's your boyfriend.”
Red Flag: He can’t stop talking about his ex-girlfriend.
This is a classic red flag. You’re in the middle of a first date dinner and instead of chatting it up over classes, your aspirations, finals… he's talking non-stop about a past relationship. Whether he constantly recalls “how great” she was or “how b*tchy” she was, either way, he is still hung up on her (and therefore, not into you). If he’s talking trash about his ex that can be another red flag for another reason. It doesn't matter how much of a b*tch she was, he should have the class to speak respectfully about her and accept at least some responsibility for the break-up.
“Nothing can ruin a date faster than a conversation about an ex,” Spira says. “If he's not over her, don't sign up to be the transition girl. It's not fun being compared to someone who's still on his pedestal.” And if you think to yourself, “If we broke up, he wouldn’t do it to me…” trust me when I say this, he will. If he doesn’t have much respect for her, how can he have any respect for you? And if you can’t cope with the idea of him trash-talking you as his ex later down the line, ditch him now.